Arrival of a Flower Season! Shirakawa-go in Early Summer
“Shirakawa-go” in Shirakawa Village, Gifu Prefecture, is a small village with beautiful traditional Japanese scenery that remains intact. With about 100 traditional houses in various sizes in an architecture style called “gassho-zukuri,” in which wooden beams are assembled to form a sharp triangle-shaped roof, this traditional village continues to serve as a place for people to lead normal lives. This area has been designated since 1995 as one of the UNESCO World’s Cultural Heritage sites, and is a popular spot attracting many tourists every year.
As Shirakawa-go is located in the mountains with a cool climate, spring flowers start blooming from mid-April in the area and people can enjoy various flowers in season until early summer.
Gassho-zukuri and cherry blossoms
You can enjoy various kinds of cherry blossoms here and there in the village.
On the ground, bright pink shibazakura (phlox moss) are blossoming gorgeously.
Nanohana (field mustard) and gassho-zukuri
The thatched roof, which looks like an inverted open book placed with its spine up, is a unique idea for an area with lots of heavy snow in winter.
Asian skunk cabbages along the footpath between rice fields.
Petals of cherry blossoms on leaves. A beautiful season of fresh greenery in the mountains along with various colorful flowers.
The Sho-gawa River flows by the village and its clear snow meltwater makes the river shiny blue.
Tranquil scenery with fields and gassho-zukuri houses. When Children’s Day, May 5, is approaching, some houses put out carp streamers to celebrate the day.
You can find a gassho-zukuri design on manholes.
The village has souvenir shops and cafes, where you can enjoy shopping and eating. With this monaka ice cream, a scoop of ice cream sandwiched with soft wafers, let’s take a break.
Some shops sell “Sarubobo,” a folk art lucky charm of the Hida area, where Shirakawa-go is located. Different colors represent different kinds of luck that they bring.
The most standard red-colored Sarubobo and an orange-colored Sarubobo, which brings good luck on trips.
A view from an observatory. The Hakusan mountain range in the distance still has snow on the peaks.
Shirakawa-go is famous for its beautiful snow landscape in winter, but the period between spring and early summer is also recommended as it is a perfect season to enjoy fresh greenery and flowers while strolling around pleasantly.
There are convenient expressway bus services from major cities, including Kanazawa and Nagoya. Isn’t this a perfect destination for your next trip?
*Due to the spread of COVID-19 and in line with the declaration of a state of emergency by the government, this area is closed until the end of May 2020. For more details, please check the latest information on the website.
*The photos in the article were taken in May, 2019.
*The information herein is as of May 2020.